Tattoo Removal: What You Need to Know About Getting Your Ink Removed
So you’ve applied your pain relieving cream and are ready to have your artist put the needle through your skin, be sure to think through your decision very carefully. Tattoos are a permanent thing, sort of, and you will have to live with it for the rest of your life.
Okay, we take that back. It’s actually possible to remove the tattoos but it will be a lot more difficult than putting them on your skin. A tattoo removal cream won’t do the trick because you will have to undergo laser treatment which can be expensive, painful and time consuming.
Know What to Expect
It is important that you know right at the very beginning that a full tattoo removal is not possible. Instead, you will be left with a ghost image or even permanent scarring. So, before you go and finalize the procedure, think about it carefully first: can you live with the ghost of your past (tattoo) or even ugly scars? What about covering up the old tattoo with a new one instead?
You should also keep in mind that laser treatments can be painful and you will have to see if you have the option to use anesthetics or even a topical numbing spray to alleviate the pain.
Multiple Treatments May Be Necessary
There are many factors that can affect how easy or difficult a tattoo can be removed. These include the location of the tattoo, the colors used as well as the level of expertise of the artist.
Generally, the closer the tattoo is to the heart, the easier it is to remove due to better circulation. Black ink is also much easier to remove while greens, yellows and reds can take a while to break down. The higher the contrast of the ink is against one’s skin, the easier it is to remove. Also, tattoos done by amateur artists tend to be easier to remove as they come with less ink although applied in different depths; on the other hand, professional ones tend to put in more ink but are located in more consistent depths.
Newer tattoos are also slightly harder to remove; pigments of old ones are absorbed by the body already so it takes fewer sessions to get the job done.
Treatment Uses Different Types of Lasers
There is not a single laser that can remove all types of colors as this job would require different wavelengths. Regardless, it will hurt just as much so ask your laser treatment expert if you can use an anesthetic gel or any numbing cream during each session.
Side Effects Can Occur
Most importantly, you should know that going through laser treatments has its risks. Some people may experience keloid scarring which just results to an ugly output. For others, it can be pinpoint bleeding, swelling and blistering, raising of the tattoo, redness and even temporary darkening of the skin.
Know what potential side effects you are up against and ask what laser and tattoo aftercare procedures you need to follow to lessen these negative effects.